1 diciembre, 2016
Since the independence from Great Britain in 1963, Kenya has been a country of great change. I got the honour of meeting the Ambassador of the Embassy of the Republic Kenya in Spain, Mr. Bramwel Waliaula Kisuya, to discuss the current situation in Kenya and his opinion about the future of the country.
Mr. Kisuya, 57, was appointed to be the Ambassador and Head of Mission at the Kenyan Embassy of Spain in 2010. Prior to this appointment, he served as a Commissioner with the Poverty Eradication Commission of Kenya and provided consultancy services to development agencies in Kenya, Ethiopia and Lesotho. His previous work within different enterprises, has given him great experience working with various affairs at a multinational level. “I have gotten a great deal of insight about international relation, which has been useful for my work here at the embassy”, Mr Kisuya says. His work at the embassy consists of various engagements, like for example with officials of Government entities, other Embassies or connecting Spanish corporations with Kenya’s corporations.
His position as the ambassador of the Kenyan embassy demands a lot of work. Mr. Kisuya is usually up by 5 am in the morning. “With my background in the consultancy services, I’ve been used to working late and waking up early”, he says. He explains that if you work in the consultancy services, you have to deliver and fulfil the expectations of the clients whenever they require it. This implies that you are not necessarily working at the most convenient hours. However, in spite of a busy schedule, the ambassador likes to make time for a daily workout session. This physical exercise gives him energy to face the assignments and challenges he encounters at the embassy.
It has been 53 years since Kenya became independent from Great Britain, which makes it one of the oldest democracies in the African context. Consequently, Kenya enjoys a lot of respect from other neighbouring countries and also Africa in general according to the ambassador. Its strong political performance, has given the country an influential role in the African Union. “Their views are often representative for other countries in East Africa, and for that reason their opinion matters”, he says.
However, Kenya does not only have an influential position in Africa. Kenyan troops have participated in numerous UN peacekeeping missions abroad. They also participated in the UN mission in Kosovo in the 90s, which proves that Kenya’s concern goes outside the African continent as well. Today, Kenya is a key contributor in peacekeeping missions in its neighbouring countries like Somalia and South Sudan. Until recently Somalia was fragile, and the unstable situation especially affected the security and economy of Kenya. The Ambassador points out that the direct impact on Kenya was an important cause for the government to intervene, but their position and expectation as a contributor in peacekeeping missions is perhaps even more essential.
The economy of Kenya has been one of the most promising economies for the last decade. “Kenya is among the top four countries in overall political and economical performance”, the ambassador says. Currently, the country has an average of 5,6% GDP growth, and the ambassador like to see that the economy in Kenya continues to grow. When I asked him what the reason could be for this economical growth, he answered that one of the main reasons was the country’s infrastructure. Kenya has a well-developed infrastructure both physically and socially, which is a key attraction for foreign investors. For that reason, Kenya also plays a vital role as a transportation hub for much of sub-Saharan Africa and is often considered the “gateway” to East Africa.
In 2008 Kenya launched its vision that it will be one of the leading countries, both economically and politically, before 2030. This vision aims to transform Kenya into a well industrialized, middle-income country, and comprises of three key pillars: social, economic and politic. “The vision is a initiative to move Kenya towards the expectations of the population in terms of uplifting their level of standards”, the Ambassador explained. He is looking at the vision as a manageable objective and is already seeing the enhancing impacts from the government´s first actions to achieve the vision.
Finally, I asked the Ambassador how he imagined Kenya in the future. “I like to see a competitive Kenya that continues to grow and develop. A Kenya where the people can enjoy a mid-level income”, he answered. He also highlighted his wishes to see the country achieve its goals before 2030. After talking to Mr. Kisuya, I have gotten a new perspective of Kenya. Kenya is definitely an upcoming country and I hope to see it fulfil its potential in the future.